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D.I.C.E. Summit 2015 (Feb. 4-5) - Live streamed via Twitch (9:30 am to 5/9.30 pm PST)



Unconfirmed Member
D.I.C.E. Summit 2015 begins today (well, summit part anyway) and all sessions will be livestreamed via Twitch at http://www.twitch.tv/dice. The 4th is for sessions only, while the 5th features sessions and the D.I.C.E. Awards.

LOS ANGELES – January 22, 2015 - The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences confirmed Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck as the 2015 D.I.C.E. Summit opening keynote speaker taking place Feb. 3-5, 2015 at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas. Fourteen additional speakers from among gaming industry technologists, gaming industry pioneers, and D.I.C.E. Awards nominated games will also be taking the stage. Invited speakers will draw from their unique experiences to share their perspective on the conference theme, Without Borders, to examine the ways in which we see barriers being transcended, and how creative industries can continue to drive entertainment forward.

The prestigious group of speakers represents industry leaders from every region and across all areas of game development. All sessions will be live streamed via Twitch on www.twitch.tv/dice on Wednesday, Feb. 4th PST from 9:30 am to 5 pm and will resume Thursday, Feb. 5th PST from 9:30 AM to 4 PM. Following the Summit sessions will be the live stream of the 18th D.I.C.E. Awards on Thursday, Feb. 5th PST beginning at 7 PM.


February 4

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM
Opening Remarks

Martin Rae
Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Wednesday Conference Keynote: Evolving Our Mindset on the Care and Cultivation of Talent

Brandon Beck
CEO and Co-Founder
Riot Games

10:45 AM - 11:05 AM
Treyarch’s Zombies: Following the Fun to Win Hearts…and Brains

Mark Lamia
Studio Head

Treyarch broke the mold with their inclusion of Zombies in Call of Duty: World at War, creating a wholly new co-op experience for the Call of Duty franchise. Join Studio Head, Mark Lamia as he explores the highly unorthodox development process behind Zombies, as well as the incredibly unique creative dialogue that the studio has with its global audience of Zombies fans. Learn about the importance of fan feedback and how it contributed to the development of Zombies, and how the mode helped to define the studio behind the Call of Duty: Black Ops series of games.

11:05 AM - 11:25 AM
All Right Stop, Collaborate and Listen!

Nathan Vella
Co-Founder and President
Capy Games

In his talk, Capy president Nathan Vella will delve into the process, rewards and challenges of collaborating with people outside of your studio, and even outside of the games industry entirely. This style of multidisciplinary collaboration has been critical to Capy’s success thus far, and is a key component of Capy's future as a studio.

Nathan will cover how collaborating with talented people outside of your studio can provide an opportunity to develop games that are more unique, interesting and diverse. These games, shaped in part by the sensibilities of their collaborators, have the potential to reach wider audiences and subvert expectations of a studio’s identity. Whether it’s drawing on an artist’s idiosyncratic style, a musician’s unmistakable sound, or even a fellow game developer’s approach to problem solving, collaboration can level up the creativity of a given project and open up fresh paths for development.

11:45 AM - 12:05 PM
Looking in a Different Direction

Brenda Romero
Program Director
UC Santa Cruz MS Games and Playable Media

What does a great game look like? Is it in the life-like fidelity of its world, its technical wizardry, the bottom line, the units it sells or the awards it wins? It may be all of these, none of these or something more. From innovation to imitation, in this talk, Romero looks outside the box for the one consistent indicator of a great game.

12:05 PM - 12:25 PM
The Experts Are Always Wrong

Tom Kalinske
Executive Chairman
Global Education Learning

After 40 years of building brands like Flintstones, Mattel, Barbie, Hot Wheels, He-Man Masters of the Universe, Matchbox, Sega, Sonic the HedgeHog, and Leapfrog, to name a few, Tom will show how if the experts were listened to, these companies and brands would not have existed. Tom will address why it’s important to believe in yourself, and what you have helped to create.

12:25 PM - 12:45 PM
Creative maturity through life experiences – How to build engaging open worlds

Tommy Francois
New IP Editorial Director

In his talk, Tommy will explain how Ubisoft teams are building meaningful open worlds that will immerse players into their very own UNIQUE experience. That’s what the teams call Game System Story.

The goal is to let each player live a unique experience that can then be shared with others from the community. As Tommy points out, “the new generation of players yearns for more freedom and for more choices in their experiences…we are invisible developers who want to meet and surpass their expectations”.

To do so, the teams are working hard on building engaging worlds. These need to be logical, appealing and surprising to create emergence.

And the key, here, is to use logical systems to build upon: NPC’s, animals, enemies, night and day cycle, weather, fauna, flora…are all examples of systems that create something we call the anecdote factory.

That‘s where research and tools comes into play: in order to create coherent worlds where players will be able to express themselves, Tommy’s team provides Ubisoft devs with access to the best experts and locations: historians, scientists, artists, space explorers, underground facilities, sewer networks, Marine training camp and many other edgy experiences so teams understand what is not visible on the web. Feeling, touching, listening, meeting with unique characters that will inspire our worlds…

The challenge is to share this across large teams, and this is where Tommy will explain how he launched a unique digital tool to streamline this.

This is a first of many out of the box tools that help foster mature creativity.

2:30 PM - 2:50 PM
Community and Development without Borders: Star Citizen

Chris Roberts
Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder
Cloud Imperium Games

Chris Roberts’ Star Citizen has made plenty of crowd funding headlines, but it’s Roberts’ development approach and engagement with a global community that have been the ingredients behind Star Citizen’s successes. What are some of the tools that have been utilized and how has the message galvanized fans of space sims and PC Games and turned traditional development and funding models upside down? Chis will be your pilot in this journey through the Star Citizen universe.

2:50 PM - 3:10 PM
What Past Pioneers Can Teach Us About Our New Frontiers

Kristian Segerstrale
COO and Executive Director
Super Evil Megacorp

Kristian will distill key lessons from his experiences of having been part of building three companies which have all in their own way successfully conquered an area of the industry - Glu Mobile, Playfish and Supercell. Segerstrale will convert those lessons into predictions about how the various new innovation vectors in the industry (VR, AR, Mobiles, Tablets, Wearables) might fare, and how established platforms (PC, Console, Handhelds) might do in turn.

3:10 PM - 3:30 PM
Player Stories vs. Designer Stories – Empowering Players Around The World

Michael de Plater
Creative Director
Monolith Productions

The Nemesis System in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor enables players to create and share gameplay stories in ways that Monolith didn’t even imagine when they were designing and developing the game. As Game Makers we love creating and sharing our stories. What Shadow of Mordor taught us was that this is a universal human motivation – our players want to create and share stories just as much as we do, and their stories are more important than ours.

This is a new world and an entirely new type of relationship between creators and consumers of entertainment in which games represent a unique opportunity both to empower players and to enable dialogue between creators and consumers.
This is something that historical authors or film makers could never have anticipated and are unable to respond to in the way that we can.
The Presentation will include multiple examples and videos of our favorite Player Stories and emergent moments from our game systems – both from End Users and from the Team as well as our lessons learned from players.
The talk will also provide an overview of the key design influences and inspirations for the Nemesis System, including a bunch of geeky acronyms such as PENS & GNS Theory.
Finally it will discuss some possible future ideas for narrative systems and the opportunities this can create for new types of collaboration between developers and players.

3:50 PM - 4:30 PM
The Shape of New Realities

Jeri Ellsworth
Inventor, Chief Hardware Engineer, Co-Founder

Moderated by
Robin Hunicke

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies are seeing a resurgence in investment. Headsets and hardware are in development, software platforms are being announced, and there is a lot of excitement about which "verticals" will best benefit from the promise of these new technologies and experiences.

But what do everyday people dream of when they think of VR? What kinds of experiences does the marketplace anticipate? And what kinds of marketplaces do we expect to emerge for those products, as developers? In this panel, Robin Hunicke will discuss the future of games and entertainment in this new landscape with creative leaders from CastAR, Magic Leap and the Oculus' recently announced Story Studio.

4:30 PM - 4:50 PM
The View from Washington, DC

Mark DeLoura

What if the form of media you know so well could be used for things you never dreamed possible?

As game developers we understand the power of games, we feel it in our bones. We've fought for our right to create what we want, and our players' rights to play what they want. We build experiences that tell stories, share values, bring people together, and deliver joy. Our art form is continually evolving, attracting new players to our games as we fine-tune our ability to tell expansive tales and to create immersive worlds.

During the past several years I had the pleasure of working at the White House, where I focused on accelerating and improving the use of games for impact. I met both visionaries and Don Quixotes working to use games in ways the mainstream game industry hasn't explored. In this presentation we'll broaden our thinking about what games can be, and discover directions others are taking them - some that work well, and others that may not!

February 5

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Thursday Opening Keynote: A Conversation with Shu Yoshida

Shuhei Yoshida
Sony Worldwide Studios

Lorne Lanning
Creative Director
Oddworld Inhabitants

Shu Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios Sony Computer Entertainment, will be joined by renowned game developer Lorne Lanning for an intimate conversation about 20 years of Playstation and Yoshida’s perspectives on the game industry – past, present and future. This dialogue will explore Shu’s views on fostering game development, 1st party and 3rd party, and how the barriers between “Indie” and “AAA” are dissolving as the industry embraces a new phase of openness. Lanning, co-founder of Oddworld Inhabitants who first experienced great success with the original Playstation and Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssee, will guide the conversation and share insights with Yoshida and the D.I.C.E. audience as we look back at the last 20 years and look forward to what lies ahead.

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
Games Thousands of Years in the Making

Gloria O’Neill
Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.

Alan Gershenfeld
President and Co-Founder
E-Line Media

What makes cultures and stories survive thousands of years? How will they survive for thousands more? How does one generation help guide another generation in a complex, rapidly changing world? In a digitally interconnected world how do we embrace similarities and celebrate differences across cultures? What does this have to do with commercial video games?

Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) is an atmospheric puzzle- platform game that leverages traditional Alaska Native stories along with the culture of the Inupiat community. The game has been produced through an inclusive development between Cook Inlet Tribal Council, a pioneering Alaska Native social service organization and E-Line Media. The team features 40 Alaska Native elders, artists and storytellers working closely with veteran game developers committed to the vision of sharing, celebrating and extending world cultures through commercial games.

Never Alone was launched in November, 2014 for X-Box One, PS4 and PC. It has been featured, discussed and debated in mass-market media such as the New Yorker, Wired, USAToday, LA Times, NPR, Guardian and Sunday Mirror as well as hundreds of gaming sites throughout the world. This talk will be a case study on the game, the launch as well as vision for a broader ‘World Games’ movement.

11:35 AM - 12:20 PM
Sustainability in the eSports Landscape

Chris Sigaty
Executive Producer
Blizzard Entertainment

Mohammed Fadl
eSports Director

Kevin Lin

Moderated by
Joshua Gray
Creative Producer
Turtle Rock Entertainment

Some of the top online developers, publishers, and platform providers in the gaming industry will sit down for a panel on the progression of eSports and breaking into the competitive landscape with their titles. The discussion will cover the challenges and lessons learned of game evolution in eSports, working with professional teams and brands, and the future of eSports on a regional and global level in 2015 and beyond.

12:20 PM - 12:40 PM
The Last of the Independents

Ru Weerasuriya
Chief Executive and Creative Officer
Ready at Dawn Studios

With a constantly evolving landscape, the core gaming big-budget developers who have remained independent are few and far between. As such, navigating the current state of the industry and planning for the future can prove difficult for independent studios and requires taking a tremendous amount of risk in order to survive and stand apart.

In line with the general theme of the conference, ‘Without Borders’, the journey that we took from the inception of Ready At Dawn to the release of The Order: 1886 saw us tackle and break many barriers, both creatively and businesswise. This is a decade of our studio’s history filled with the sensible, and at times unorthodox decisions that have brought us here, and a look at what the future holds from our perspective.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Secret Origins of the Tetris Phenomenon

Alexey Pajitnov
Tetris Creator

Henk Rogers
Managing Director
The Tetris Company

Long before it became a worldwide phenomenon, the Tetris video game was fraught with challenges and great personal and professional risk for its creator, Alexey Pajitnov, and partner Henk Rogers. The pair will interview each other about their earliest memories of the struggles, lessons, pitfalls, and triumphs.

3:00 PM - 3:20 PM
Towards An Age of Play

Tracy Fullerton
USC Games

Games quite simply have the potential right now to become the aesthetic form of this century. Between their expanding reach into more ubiquitous platforms and broader audiences, and their emerging cultural status as an entertaining, expressive and educational medium, games are poised at a critical moment of definition. But in order to move past this moment and into what may be called an “age of play,” we, as an industry, must first earn the right to claim this next phase of possibility for our medium. And in order to do so, we need to battle some fairly important bosses that stand in our way. In this order, we will need to defeat our own limited view of games, their place in entertainment and in culture. We’ll also need to overthrow our own exclusive and heterogeneous community of development. And, we’ll need to defend ourselves against our own carefully cultivated hardcore audience -- those who want to keep games to themselves and see the advancement of the form as a threat to their identity and their own sense of entitlement. As decision makers, creative leaders, financial backers and educators, we will all play important roles in defining how the future of games will play out. This talk is a challenge to each of us to maximize our efforts towards helping games to reach their maximum potential influence as a global medium of expression, for all players and creators of play, everywhere.

3:20 PM - 3:40 PM
Disney Infinity: A Platform Without Borders

Bob Lowe
Director and Toy Box Team Lead
Avalanche Software

In this 20-minute presentation, representatives from Disney Interactive and Avalanche Software will discuss how the introduction of the Disney Infinity game platform is breaking down borders both inside the Walt Disney Company and in the global gaming universe of consumers and game developers.

Disney Infinity began as a platform designed to break down borders for Disney fans by bringing together the best characters and stories from The Walt Disney Company into a single game…but over time the idea of a games platform has come to represent something entirely different than Disney originally expected.

Instead of representing just a mash-up of Disney brands, the game has become a platform where players generate new levels, cultivated and curated on a weekly basis by Disney. More importantly, it has also become a platform for an active (and talented) community, as well as nearly a dozen external developers from around the world who are lending their expertise to contribute content to this ever-expanding gameplay experience. We believe this approach truly represents development without borders.

3:40 PM - 4:00 PM
Baby Steps: Returning to our roots is the future of videogames

Sean Murray
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Hello Games

The game industry has grown up too fast. When Sean and the Hello Games team started playing them, games were in their infant phase. People like David Braben made universes, while Jeff Minter made games about camels, and Will Wright created cities. These pioneers were inventing genres in assembler, making mistakes in 8bit and learning what games can be. Then the industry started making blockbusters. It became a business focused on production, on huge teams making million-dollar cut scenes. Justification came from the exorbitant revenues that far exceeded film, yet games still have a long way to reach maturity.

Now developers, especially indies like Hello Games, are returning to gaming's roots. Murray will share why indies are refocusing on the power of the developer, and how indies are going back to quickly exploring new avenues in old-school graphics. He will share his thoughts on why developers want freedom to create more than new art pipelines, and instead want to create new graphical forms, entire procedural worlds, and truly intelligent AI. For Sean, developers are going back to explore everything that makes videogames amazing, with the goal of making them even better.

6:00 PM - 7:15 PM
The Joint
Pre-D.I.C.E. Awards Social Hour

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
The Joint
18th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards
Source: http://www.dicesummit.org/dice_schedules/2015_schedule.asp


Mordor, Adventure game of 2014...

A few of the Game covers where good...Grand Theft Auto Canada.... ;)

Goddamn Twitch works when it wants for me most of the time...never get it going on my first try,it just hangs with a black or white screen...
I've never heard the App Store being given praise like this, let alone any praise, in the development side of the industry.

^That's what I think I'm feeling: disgust. I have no personal stake or anything against the App Store, but this sounds like some marketing push rather than an actual highlight of technical achievement.

Edit: OH and look, Product Marketing head takes the award -_-


I've never heard the App Store being given praise like this, let alone any praise, in the development side of the industry.

^That's what I think I'm feeling: disgust. I have no personal stake or anything against the App Store, but this sounds like some marketing push rather than an actual highlight of technical achievement.

Edit: OH and look, Product Marketing head takes the award -_-

Exactly. There's giving recognition and then there's dropping to your knees. That guy was majorly on his knees. That should have been handled so much better. What an embarrassment.
No Bayonetta 2 or Dark Souls 2 between the nominees.

At least Nintendo fans got Mario Kart and SSB (not sure if anything else), given how nearly everything is being thrown at Middle Earth.

But now.... NEIL DRUCKMANN!!!!

Edit: Game direction will be Mordor. GOTY will be Mordor.


Never watched the DICE Awards before. They sure have some weird pacing. Recapping the nominees seems to take longer than the actual acceptance speech.
Never watched the DICE Awards before. They sure have some weird pacing. Recapping the nominees seems to take longer than the actual acceptance speech.

Got the feeling that, aside from Monolith who were just being thrown awards left and right and the Apple marketing push, most of the people there just wanted to get out of there. Some of them had been there all day too.

Exception of course is the Bungie folks, who are always awkward. Especially when pointing to distant mountains they don't want to walk to but could if they wanted.

And as sincere as the BioWare folks were and don't think they meant anything by it, the assembly seemed pretty much in the line of thought they were in how the awards were being dealt. I'm sure that didn't help either in having such mindsets.


I would pay just to hear Tom K. talk for a bit. Dude lived through an insane time in the game industry and had some real success and some real tribulations. The book was great.
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